"Like clouds they scud across the ice, His hands hold hers as in a vise...." From Harper's New Monthly Magazine, vol. 22, issue 129 (February 1861). Topics: Audiobook - Poetry, Winter Source: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, February 1861.
This creepy tale of an antebellum Christmas (and New Year's) in New York continues, with poison, fire, demons, mynah birds, and some action figures you'd rather not find in your stocking. Beware the Wondersmith! ( 1 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Fiction, Christmas, Horror, Holidays - New Year's Eve Source: "The Wondersmith" by Fitz-James O'Brien
Take one antebellum New York college student with a crazy dream of the perfect microscope. Add one spiritualist (modeled after the Fox sisters), one diamond, and one drop of water. Stir. ( 1 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Fiction, Science Fiction
A Union soldier thinks of his friend, imprisoned down South. Written in December 1861. O'Brien was a Union officer. He died from his wounds in April 1862. Topics: Audiobook - Poetry, War Source: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, February, 1862.
A lost treasure, a lady in distress, and a message from beyond the grave! This 1855 story is an earlier appearance of Harry Escott from "What Was It? -- A Mystery", and features the same entertaining mixture of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Topic: Audiobook - Fiction
From the March 1861 issue of Harper's New Monthly Magazine, a poem about an Irish immigrant mother and her son. Topics: Audiobook - Poetry, Holidays, St. Patrick's Day, Immigration Source: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, March 1861
Printed in March 1862 (about the time it would take to get such a letter written in January), this poem was one of the last things ever written by Fitz-James O'Brien. It's full of Victorian sentiment, but it also uses that in a rather clever way. It also tells a pretty good story. O'Brien was wounded in a skirmish on February 26, 1862, and died of complications from his wounds on April 6, 1862. Topics: Audiobook - Poetry, war Source: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, March 1862
This 1859 Christmas horror story puts traditional figures of European legend and lore ('gypsies', hunchbacks, stolen children, wizards, and demons) into a tough New York City neighborhood. The result is a scary urban Victorian fantasy. Better hope Santa doesn't bring you presents from the Wondersmith. ( 1 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Fiction, Christmas Source: Atlantic Monthly, October 1859
An lonely old man with a vanished, disgraced son. A sweet Skye terrier who's always in disgrace. What's brewing in a town called Hopskotch? Topic: Audiobook - Fiction Source: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, June 1861
This 1859 short story probably influenced both Maupassant's "The Horla" and Bierce's "The Damned Thing". It's pretty spooky all by itself, though. The second phase of the story is a science fiction take -- a very odd one. See what you think. ( 4 reviews ) Topics: Audiobook - Fiction, Horror
O'Brien knew London and Paris, where shopgirls were common. But in New York, the stores only employed salesmen, even in departments selling exclusively to women. The work was seen as too hard for women -- but slaving as seamstresses was not. O'Brien protests this injustice in a witty fantasy about a labor-saving fabric clamp (the eponymous Sewing Bird) come alive. Topic: Audiobook - Poetry Source: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, vol. 21, issue 124 (September 1860).
LibriVox volunteers bring you 12 recordings of The Demon of the Gibbet by Fitz-James O'Brien. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for February 10, 2013. Fitz James O'Brien was an Irish-born American writer, some of whose work is often considered a forerunner of today's science fiction. After emigrating to the United States in 1852 he contibuted numerous articles in prose and verse to Harpers Magazine, Vanity Fair and Atlantic Monthly. He died IN April 1862 from severe wounds suffered in the... Topics: librivox, literature, audiobook, poetry, adventure, fantasy, horror/ghost stories, nature, romance Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text